Monday, January 26, 2009

Words, words, words 

E talks in complete sentences now. Sort of.

Here are sample sentences:

"I wan-na-dtookie! dtookie, peez." (I want a cookie! Cookie, please!)
"I nee-a-wree-a-buh!" (I need to read a book) [Last week, in the back of the car, it was, "I nee a wree a buh! Buh, mommy! A... A po apple. E - Eyya!" (I need to read a book! Book mommy! A for Apple. E for Ella!)]

Sometimes she'll still revert to one word exclamations. Her favorite now-a-days is
"Lay-lo!!!!" (Lego).

You get the idea. Basically, the only important consonant in her mind is the first one. Unless it's too hard to pronounce, then the second one will do.

This weekend a friend of hers stopped by to play for the morning. He's about three or four months younger than her. He does not speak in complete sentences yet. As such, I was shocked to suddenly hear, as they played with their favorite toy (happened to be the same thing, convenient!) "LEGO!"

What?! Who said "Lego?!"

And then later, as they looked at an animal book,
"BEAR!" and then "Milk." And the list goes on. He almost got a complete sentence out when E left for a toy. "Wha -- Ella?" (I can only assume that was "Where's E?")

E's friend, apparently, has mastered ALL his consonants. When he starts speaking in sentences, he (unlike E) will be instantly understood by all. Hmm... maybe they should hang out more often. Maybe his pronunciation will rub off on E.

K enjoyed watching the action from her bouncy seat, one of her favorite places to be. (Number 1 favorite is in parents' arms, followed closely by looking up at their faces while on the changing table.)
(she's soooooooooo cute!?!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Great days 

Yesterday was a good day. I found out that not one, but two of my friends will be interviewing at my place of employment over the next month. I love the idea of both of them finding employment in our little community. On the family end -- K sat by herself for the first time (for several seconds only, but still, it's a new date for her baby book) and E used the potty sucessfully!

Funny story about E -- we've been talking about the potty a lot over the past few months. She can recite to you (with lots of baby babble and "uh-huhs") a huge monologue about how one uses the potty. We've practiced a lot. This weekend I even showed her how her baby doll goes potty. (now that's become part of her monologue, too.) I'm encouraging this mostly because I know daycare is putting her on the toilet a couple times a day at minimum, so I thought I'd work with her at home, too. But I don't have huge expectations. I figure I'll wait for the push in training until this summer.

But last night she went!! As soon as she was done, I didn't get any cheers or "mommy, I diddit" like I expected. Instead, she calmly stood up an opened the lid to the adult potty, because she knew that was the next step -- dump it in the adult potty.

A serious one, this little girl.

p.s. congrats, K! You've made it 4 months!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sick child 

E stayed home sick today. S took the first half of the day with her, I took the second. Since we know she has a high probability of having been exposed to strep, I took her in to the doctors in the afternoon.

Before visiting the doctors, we had pizza for lunch. I only mention it because E's way of saying "pizza" ("Pee-dah!") is so cute. And she was SOOO excited about the treat. When I first mentioned going to the doctors, she nodded her head, like she knew it was a good thing to do, and then, with loads of seriousness, looked down at her thumb and started jabbering away about something.

It took me a second to remember that last time we went to the doctor, E had had a lead test done. In order to do the lead test, they had to prick her thumb and drop blood onto five round circles. She had done really well despite the ordeal. She hadn't cried and barely winced at it all. Apparently she remembered, and was telling me all about it. I assured her there would be no thumb-sticking today.

When we got home (she has an ear infection, again), I mentioned that now it might be time for a second nap (she napped two hours in the morning). Before I was done hanging up the coats, she was gone from sight. I assumed she'd gone to her room or the livingroom to play. When I walked into her room, however, she was not playing but instead busy trying to climb (and for a one year old, it really is "climb") into her bed. Apparently she was ready for that nap.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tonight's yummy veg meal 

We didn't make any New Years resolutions (other than "buy a house,") but we have been discussing eating more vegan/vegetarian meals. Here's tonight's yummy creation, Chickpea Tagine with Cinnamon, Cumin and Carrots. I give it a 4.0 (on a 5 point scale.) If you go for the vegan version (no yogurt), it's still yummy, but downgrades to a 3.0 as it looses the yummy tang of the yogurt. We couldn't find the Greek-style yogurt the recipe recommends (anyone know where we can find that?) but it tastes great with regular yogurt, too.

It is a slightly sweet, flavorful Moroccan-like stew. It is very quick and easy to make, the only chopping involved are for the carrots and onion. (We used pre-minced garlic from a jar, which also helped speed things up.) Total prep time is about 5 minutes, total cook time about 25. I LOVE cumin, so I knew it would be a hit. I am glad I restrained myself and did not add chili (smile). I was afraid it would be too bland. It is not. The fresh parsley, however, is a "must" for flavor.

Were I to make it again, I'd add more currants and carrots and a little more water -- it seems a bit chickpea heavy. (Hint: if you don't like garbanzo beans, you won't like this dish.)

I encourage you to follow the link above and have some yourself! If the link is dead, talk to me, I'll pass along the recipe. (This is from October's issue of Vegetarian Times. Thanks again for the subscription, Grandma R!)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

So far... 

I had a good first day at work.

More importantly, E LOVED day care. No real suprise here. She came home more riled up than she was on Christmas, talking about EVERYTHING. (Unfortunately we only understood half of it.) She only napped an hour and a half at day care, though. Must have been the excitement.

K also, it seemed, did well.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Awkward Conversations 

Over the holidays I met up with a well-respected elderly woman from our past. We excitedly introduced her to our newest addition, then S got caught up in another conversation. The woman asked me, "Well, looks like you're keeping busy with these two! I suppose you're staying at home now?"
"Well, yes, I am, but I start a new job on January 5th."
"Oh... (she looked taken aback) But, how much?" she asked. I could only assume by that that she meant "full time or part time" and was not actually asking about my salary.
"Forty hours a week, full time." I responded.
"Oh..." she said, looking even more awkward, and the conversation ended. The silence spoke volumes.

She didn't ask why, she didn't ask if I'd struggled with the decision or wished it was only part time. I'll answer a little here, as best as I can. I do wish it were part-time, it would blend the best of both worlds. I did struggle over the decision to accept this job, I prayed over it more than almost any major decision in the past few years. The answer to "why" is a bit more complex. Perhaps because it fit my resume well and I knew I'd like the job, perhaps because we needed the money, definitely because of the location of the job... The timing wasn't exactly right, I would have liked to be at home a bit longer, several more years even. The hours aren't right, I'd like more time with my girls. But the job seems like precisely the one I'd like to have for years to come. It is both low stress enough and engaging enough to leave me energy and time for my family in the evenings yet intellectually engaged in the academic world my husband lives in.

Her silence struck a chord. I've spent the last two months mulling over this decision, asking for advice from everyone I think might have good thoughts on this. I was surprised that basically all sought-out advice resulted in a "yes," even from those I was sure would say "no." I pray I've made the right decision, I take comfort in that I can always pull out, and I believe that overall this is the right thing for my family. I have, since the beginning, had the support of my husband. Had I not, I would not have considered this as an option. That said, I still mourn a little, especially as I think of her silent words. They cause some doubt. Am I selfish? Am I wrong? Is the old-fashion way the best way? The last six months have been some of the most isolating and lonely times for me. Perhaps I'm just trying to run away from that. Do I not love my children enough? But my family is my world! It is for love of family, in large part, that I am excited about this position. [S wonders (tongue-in-cheek) why our friend didn't ask about HIS decision to accept full-time employment.]

Well, I'm diving in. It's been fun being a stay at home mom. Wish me luck!
P.S. If you have anecdotes or encouragement for a working mom, I could probably use them. Feel free to share!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Rebellious Daughter 

E recently started reading a pamphlet I have laying around the house titled What it Means to be Reformed. Our conversation with her went something like this:

S: "E, you are reading the book upside down."

E turns the book right side up

S: "Good. You know that if you read it upside down you become an arminian, but if you read it right side up, you become a calvinist."

E: [Mumble Mumble] Translation: "OK, I think I want to be an arminian."

E turns the book upside down and continues reading.

Between her recent cheer for Duke, and now this, I suspect that my oldest daughter will be quite the rebel.

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